3 Kohitātea 2019
I bought an air freshener today. People say my car smells like wet dog, as if that’s a bad thing. My two most frequent passengers happen to be dogs, and when we go out on adventures, they usually get wet. To me, the smell of wet dog is the smell of adventure, and freedom, and life worth living.
But I am trying to be more social. I would like humans to come on adventures with me, too, sometimes, and I don’t want to have to keep apologising for the dog smell. So I went into Supercheap Auto and bought a new air freshener and a bottle of stuff you’re meant to spray in the car to ‘neutralise odours’.
They didn’t have the kind of air freshener I wanted, the kind I’ve had dangling from my rear-view mirror since I bought the car, to replace the one that was taken from my beloved wee Subaru when it was stolen, trashed and stripped of anything not bolted down. A blue pawprint, with a sort of bubblegummy berry scent that was quite nice. They didn’t have them. So I got the cheapest, most generic air freshener there was, a sort of cardboard thing shaped like a leaf. I chose the ‘vanilla’ kind because it went with the odour neutralising spray stuff. A theme.
I drove for about five minutes with the leaf-shaped cardboard dangling from my rear-view mirror next to the obsolete bubblegummy blue pawprint before I took it down. It had that sickly chemical, artificially sweet stench of a Glade bathroom air freshener, the kind you keep by the toilet and spray for one reason.
I am trying to be more social, but I am the kind of person who would rather my car smelled like wet dog.
So the leaf-shaped vanilla cardboard is in the glovebox. Maybe I’ll get it out as a courtesy when I have human passengers and just put up with it, because I am trying to be more social, but there’s no way I’m letting it violate my nostrils when I’m on the trail of adventure and freedom and life.
On an unrelated note, I have a new dress.
My sister came around with a big bag of clothes that don’t fit her anymore for me to go through before it all goes to the op-shop. The dress was in it. You can’t really see it in the photo, but I prefer my face to my body, so. The material is very light and comfortable. I’m trying to get into wearing dresses.
On the way home from the falls, I washed my dog. I am trying to be more social, but it’s summer. In summer, I come with a dog. I don’t care if he smells doggy, but maybe other people do. So we pulled up to this big car wash hub in town that has a little ‘dog wash’ station. You buy tokens with money, put the tokens in the machine and choose shampoo/conditioner/rinse/blow dry. We’ve used a similar system before, at the pet store. I used to work at a proper, upmarket dog groomer’s, so it was like an extremely low budget DIY version of that. Enough Loki fluff is now drifting through the main streets of Hastings to make a whole new dog. Maybe two.
After the wash, we stopped by the pet store to get him a treat for being a good boy. At the groomer’s where I used to work, we would spritz a tiny bit of this premium dog cologne on the dogs after they were all clean and dry, to send them home smelling their best. That stuff was divine. Top of the line, ludicrously expensive, but you get what you pay for. I mean, it actually smelled delicious. Coconut, and all this. Made me want to rub my face in the dogs’ fur and take a deep huff.
There was some stuff at Animates you could buy to spray on your dog to make him smell nice. I decided to buy some. The most I was willing to spend was $16.50, because that was the cheapest one. “Botanical Mist”, it’s called. Pomegranate scent. The label has a nice design. “Infused with natural extracts that will leave your pets smelling as good as they feel cuddled up next to you.” Nice. The back of the label: “With its rich and fruity aroma, Pomegranate speaks to your pet’s sense of fun and spunkiness. Natural antioxidants and a touch of Matricaria flower extract add excellent moisturizing and nourishing properties for the coat and skin.” Sold!
I should have learned my lesson with the air freshener.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the same assault to the senses as the leaf-shaped cardboard with its sickly fake vanilla stench, but there are lingering tones of the Glade bathroom can.
It’s the artificiality that puts me off. I’m sure some humans I attempt to socialise with will appreciate my dog smelling like fake Pomegranate, but I think dogs should smell like dogs. They should be clean and dry, certainly, but if they have a musky, earthy, freshwater odour about them, it’s all good with me. It’s authentic. It’s adventure. It’s freedom. It’s dog.
But, I am trying to be more social. So.
When I got home, I made a spicy stir-fry and sat down with my iPad. I shouldn’t have checked the news before I ate. A kitten was thrown out of a car window yesterday, and died in excruciating pain. There’s a photo. The kitten looks just like mum’s cat, Alfie, when he was a kitten.
Alfie was supposed to be my kitten, and for awhile, he was. He was the boldest, sprightliest, most inquisitive and confident kitten in the world. He used to climb trees up to the highest branches and follow me and the dogs out onto the field. He used to chase tennis balls. But he became mum’s cat. He chose her. Now he’s the fattest, laziest, most contented house cat I’ve ever seen. She feeds him too much. He doesn’t care. He purrs like an engine the second you touch him. He’s the happiest cat. Not a care in the world. If he’s not snoozing on mum’s bed, he’s sunbathing on the patio. Or eating. Occasionally he stalks the pigeons, but he’s too fat to catch them.
A kitten died in excruciating pain after being thrown from a moving vehicle and run over in Taranaki, it has been claimed.
Julie Adlam spoke to the SPCA about seeing the kitten being thrown from a vehicle on Devon Rd, State Highway 3, near the Mangati Rd intersection.
The back wheel of the vehicle appeared to clip the tiny animal, which was riddled with fleas, and her pelvis was shattered as she tried to crawl by her front legs across the main road both ways, in a fearful effort to get to safety, Adlam said.
The kitten was taken to the vet in “excruciating pain” but died before the vet saw her. — Stuff
I don’t know what it is about kittens. Whether they’re being stoned to death by laughing teenagers filming themselves doing it or stomped to death under a man’s boot (also filming himself doing it) or thrown out of vehicles and run over, I just get very upset.
I might need to cry for awhile, or take a bath, or read a book, or all three. A glass of wine would be good too, but I am trying to drink less wine. I am trying to get into wearing dresses, being more social and drinking less wine. Wearing dresses and being social in a world where kittens are thrown from vehicles and die in excruciating pain seems every bit as stupid as it did before I started actively trying to do it.
I still haven’t bought a plant.